Easter 2024

31 January 2009
residue - liturgical

The Book of Common Prayer's option for the Officiant at a marriage to inquire, “Who gives this woman to this man?” is an anachronistic, liturgical residue of the erroneous notion that women are property.

Clifford, George. "Thoughts on Christian marriage, I" Daily Episcopalian 30 Jan 2009. Emphasis added.

Eww. Sticky.

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28 January 2009
Evensong - liveblogging

20:15 An angry reader informs me that the hastily written paragraph from 18:18 is in need of editing. Editing is accomplished.

18:18 A lovely Evensong overall and only about 45 minutes in length from the choir's perspective. The boys sounded excellent. It was the singing of the men, especially their verse sections in the Purcell, that I wanted to hear a bit more preparation. It sounded as though the men singing the verses all managed their parts well but were unaware of what the other parts were doing (i.e., in the manner of true lay clerks). Maybe with an additional fifteen minutes in the schedule there would have been an opportunity to tune a few of those surprisingly hairy Purcell chords a bit more. But then again, with more time, perfection always seems that much closer. The Psalm was a highlight for me. I will be listening to that again soon.

18:17 A fuller registration.

18:14 verse 3, after which Organ Postlude begins. Also on the 8' principal, I believe. These must be Italian pieces. This seems to have a few durezze moments.

18:13 verse 2

18:12 verse 1

18:11 The Grace. The Hymn is surely No. 444. "Blessed be the God of Israel" sung to THORNBURY

18:09 The familiar tune WESTMINSTER ABBEY is "hallelujaed" to end the work.

18:08 Listening to "O God, thou art my God". I love this anthem. Exciting accelerando into "as long as I live".

18:03 Greetings from the rector and a brief homily, I suspect? Was that an errant organ note?

18:00 It's 6:00. The bells finish tolling the hour during the first collect.

17:54 Um, somehow I suspect they are not reading from this public domain edition.

17:53 John is beheaded and the Nunc begins.

17:52 Oops. The Purcell score is also available. I guess I should have checked this before the webcast began.

17:48 A considerable amount of intricate verse work for the men. You can hear that 4' principal come on for the Gloria. Not exactly "as it was in the beginning", if you get my drift.

17:46 Lovely ascending can & dec treble parts there.

17:45 Ishmael is born in the first lesson. The Purcell begins. The organ held that first chord, rather than pitch the choir, I think.

17:43 I checked on this page. The Coverdale version of Psalm 136 does have 27 verses.

17:41 There was an apocryphal verse 27 in the psalm to make the triple chant turn out right. I'm almost okay with that. The altered chant in the Gloria was pretty suave. Who wrote this one?

17:39 I'm totally diggin this chant. What was that pronunciation of "Bashan"? Bay-san?

17:37 The organ could be even bigger for the division of the Red Sea, yes?

17:35 That's not how I thought the chant would end. Ah! A triple chant!!! How exciting!

17:33 A lovely little piece of 20 bars. The Smith responses begin.

17:32 Improv ends in E minor. Batten starts right away. Score

17:30 Improvisation begins on the chancel organ.

17:29 Prelude ends.

17:27 The Organ Prelude begins on the Taylor and Boody. Something nice with a few lombard rhythms on the 8' Principal. Could be French?

17:23 Choir has left. New York traffic noise. How exciting!

17:22 One of the boys can be heard practicing his "Prrrrraise" from the Introit as he wanders out of the church. Excellent

17:21 "A bit of the introit as well". Not happy with the first note of the Batten, Scott asks for just the senior boys to sing it.

17:19 The stream is live. I can hear a bit of the rehearsal. The Purcell Nunc. At the Gloria John Scott says "The four-foot prinicpal as well".

There's 12.5 inches of snow here in the Midwest, which means I'm at home, which means I'll be live blogging the webcast of Evensong from St. Thomas, New York at 5:30 p.m. EST today.

Here's the music list:

5:30 Choral Evensong
  Introit: O praise the Lord - Batten
  Responses: Smith
  Psalm: 136
  Service: Purcell in B flat
  Anthem: O God, thou art my God - Purcell

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cool - organ music is

Super-hip music critic Alex Ross runs into James Kennerley at St. Mary the Virgin in New York City:

Before a Tuesday-evening service, I heard a brief recital that included Buxtehude’s chorale prelude "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern." Shimmeringly varied timbres, evocative of starlight, made me want to know more about the player, who was listed as James Kennerley. He turned out to be a bespectacled British lad, aged twenty-four, a Cambridge graduate and a former organ scholar at St. Paul's Cathedral. He was appointed music director of St. Mary's last month.

"I'm incredibly happy to have this instrument," Kennerley told me, seated at the console. “It has this fantastic range of sounds, from high stops to reedy French trompettes to the colossal bass”—he pressed a low C with his foot, frightening a few tourists in the nave below—"and it takes on great beauty in the height and width of this space." While I looked on, he let loose a fast-figured, at times piercingly dissonant improvisation, with reposeful tonal chords to close.

Ross, Alex. "Cheap Seats". The New Yorker, 2 Feb 2009.

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26 January 2009
boost - turbo, Episode 12

This overwrought episode seems to be a turning point in the series

We've recently seen the departure of three cast members and the rebirth of the organization. Everything is in flux, but we seem to be left with a more of a ragtag bunch of do-gooders.

The enterprising optimism of those who remain seems to hearken back to the physiognomy of the original series. KITT expresses a metaphor for all this: "I believe turbo boost is operational".

So if the first eleven or so episodes were just supposed to set us up with this cast, why did it take so long?
EpisodeTime before initial
Turbo Boost
14:56second shortest time
27:36second longest time; third shortest time
3n/afirst episode without
4n/asecond consecutive episode without
5n/athird consecutive episode without
6n/afourth consecutive episode without
7n/afifth consecutive episode without
8n/asixth consecutive episode without
9*n/aseventh consecutive episode without
1010:30second longest time; a second turbo boost follows at 11:05
113:17new shortest time
1238:23new longest time; this turbo boost terminates KARR

* Somehow I missed an episode in the table, so my numbering has been off lately. This table is the first to add the real episode 9 (which I assume does not have turbo boost?) and correct subsequent numberings.


25 January 2009
scores - organ, free, online

Louis Marchand (1669-1732)

David Crean has directed our attention has been drawn to a great resource for free organ scores the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP).

The IMSLP has a number of free scores for organ and harpsichord.

One collection that has entered the public domain and is hence available through IMSLP is Alexandre Guilmant's editions of music of the French Organ School: the ten volume Archive des Maitres de l'Orgue.

This collection includes works by Louis-Nicolas Clerambault, François Couperin, Nicolas de Grigny, Jean-Adam Guilain, the bow-tie-wearing Louis Marchand, Jean Titelouze and others.

If you don't play the organ, you have our sympathies, but you can browse by instrument.

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24 January 2009
Travers, Aaron - performance at St. Thomas, New York

Parishioners at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue heard a movement form Three Pieces for Organ (2000) by Aaron Travers as part of the prelude this past Sunday.

Aaron Travers (b. 1975) holds degrees from Oberlin and Eastman and is on the faculty of Northwestern University.

The structure of the movement performed at St. Thomas, "Here and There", could be likened to a Howells Psalm Prelude or Christopher Rousse's "Elegy" from the Flute Concerto. Soft, crescendo to apocalyptically full, then soft again.

The 11:00 a.m. service from January 18 is still available from St. Thomas webcasting.

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23 January 2009
hymn - hushed was the evening

A hymn describing the events of this past Sunday's reading from the Hebrew Bible (1 Samuel 3:1-20).

Hushed was the evening hymn,
The temple courts were dark;
The lamp was burning dim
Before the sacred ark;
When suddenly a voice divine
Rang through the silence of the shrine.

The old man, meek and mild,
The priest of Israel, slept;
His watch the temple child,
The little Levite, kept;
And what from Eli’s sense was sealed
Our God to Hannah’s son revealed.

O give me Samuel’s ear,
The open ear, O God,
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of thy Word,
Like him to answer at thy call,
And to obey thee first of all.

O give me Samuel’s heart,
A lowly heart, that waits
Where in thy house thou art,
Or watches at thy gates;
By day and night, a heart that still
Moves at the breathing of thy will.

O give me Samuel’s mind,
A sweet unmurm’ring faith,
Obedient and resigned
To thee in life and death,
That I may read with childlike eyes
Truths that are hidden from the wise.

James Drummond Burns, 1857; alt.
(via "Suddenly a Voice Divine" from Conjubilant with Song)

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21 January 2009
Robinson, Gene - on the Daily Show

Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, made a brief appearance on The Daily Show with John Stewart on Inauguration Day.

Here's the three minute interview:

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service - national prayer

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. EST today, you can watch the National Prayer Service at the Cathedral Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Washington. President Obama will be in attendance.

President Obama has been around the Episcopal Church a lot lately.

On Saturday, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire gave the invocation at the Lincoln Memorial (video). Bishop Robinson detailed his experiences in a post entitled "i thank you God for most this amazing day", the first line of a poem by E. E. Cummings.

Yesterday, Cummings's words were sung in a setting by Eric Whitacre at St. John's, Lafayette Square, just a block from the White House. Then president-elect Obama was in the front pew.

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20 January 2009
familiar - knew that sounded

Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire seems rather fond of the Franciscan "May God bless you with anger . . ." benediction.

You know, like what he said at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday (video).

In our observations, it's part of Bishops' liturgical role to call us out of our comfort zone with these sorts of gems.


Arts - Secretary of, petition for

I hope that you will realize that just by visiting this site you are in close proximity to someone whose vocation is in the arts.

The arts support approximately 5.7 million jobs in this country, and we could all use someone advocating for those workers, and the arts we love, on the federal level.

I encourage you to sign this petition for a Secretary of Arts

Schein, Johann - happy birthday to

Happy Birthday to Johann Schein, whose appearance was apparently the most clown-like of all the composers.

19 January 2009
Obama - everyone wants to be an organist for

President-elect Barack Obama worshipped at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. yesterday. Word got out that he was going to be there, and seats for the 11:00 a.m. service were claimed quickly.

At 9:15 a.m., a Secret Service agent announced to a disappointed crowd that the church had reached capacity, with the exception of the members of the choir and church officers. A light moment occurred when presiding usher Gerald Young asked the crowd where the organist was and 15 hands immediately shot up.

Wright, James. "Final Sunday before Inauguration Obamas Worship at Black Church in Washington". Afro News 18 January 2009

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18 January 2009
American - Born Again, Episcopal choir in

Choir members from All Saints, Pasadena, California are seen in Born Again American singing in the Rose Bowl Stadium. (via Bill Moyers Journal)


17 January 2009
boost - turbo, Episode 10

Like last week's episode, the second of this two-part series also has a turbo boost. Even with a recap of last week, this turbo boost sets a new record for shortest time.

Here's this week's early "you know what this calls for" turbo boost.

EpisodeTime before initial
Turbo Boost
14:56second shortest time
27:36second longest time; third shortest time
3n/afirst episode without
4n/asecond consecutive episode without
5n/athird consecutive episode without
6n/afourth consecutive episode without
7n/afifth consecutive episode without
8n/asixth consecutive episode without
910:30longest time; a second turbo boost follows at 11:05
103:17new shortest time


14 January 2009
Epiphany - Mark's "beloved" statements frame, Year B

Have you noticed these two statements of God in Mark's Gospel? They frame the season of the Epiphany

The first, heard this past Sunday, occurs at the baptism of Jesus. This is the voice from heaven which says "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."

The second statement is made by a cloud at the transfiguration (I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume this is God also): "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"

I love this.

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13 January 2009
Shuttleworth, Obadiah - funny name of

For your consideration: English composer, violinist and organist Obadiah Shuttleworth


12 January 2009
Whitacre, Eric - "Lux Aurumque"

A major "score" for American composer Eric Whitacre: having his "Lux Aurumque" sung in the Chapel of King's College Cambridge in December. The piece was sung as a part of Carols from Kings (a separate service from the popular Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols).

Watching this performance with the evening light and the retiring procession, it seems as if this piece must have always been sung in this place.

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07 January 2009
boost - turbo, Episode 9

In the first episode of 2009, we have turbo boost!

At about 10:30, Michael gives the command "KITT, turbo boost" and glides over the prison fence. He exits the same way about 30 seconds later.

Here's are the two turbo boosts in context:

Does television get any better than this?

EpisodeTime before initial
Turbo Boost
14:56shortest time
27:36second longest time; second shortest time
3n/afirst episode without
4n/asecond consecutive episode without
5n/athird consecutive episode without
6n/afourth consecutive episode without
7n/afifth consecutive episode without
8n/asixth consecutive episode without
910:30longest time; a second turbo boost follows at 11:05



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